image source - World Cancer Day website.
There seems to be a day for everything these days, but today is an important day for me. It is World Cancer Day. Today is my day off, a break in the week when I can stop thinking about cancer. Sadly for many people they don't get to have a day off from cancer. Living with cancer is a term that is being spoken more often as survival figures climb, longer remissions possible. Yet there is still so much to do. Treatments are harsh, symptoms limiting quality of life and side effects changing peoples lives beyond treatment finishing. Research is key not only for reducing the percentage of people likely to have cancer but for improving treatments and just as importantly improving care, service and information delivery. Treatments are becoming evermore personalised yet we still have a long way to go in tailoring information to individuals.
As part of the ICanWeCan project for World Cancer Day, I Can help every patient I treat cope with their radiotherapy treatment. Of course I already do this and will continue to do this. But in the coming years I want to help my profession make improvements to service delivery, tailoring information to individuals, finding ways to help patients living with short and long term side effects of radiotherapy get the quality of life they deserve. Even though I am a newly qualified Band 5 therapeutic radiographer I already have ideas and will research project ideas in coming months to see if they are actually viable.
So what you can you do for the ICanWeCan project? You can book that smear test, check your breasts, give up smoking. You can take a friend who is living with cancer out for coffee and a catch up or head out for a walk with them, fresh air is good for the soul as well as relieving fatigue. You could make some meals for the freezer of a friend or relative currently having cancer treatment for their family, so they don't have to worry that everybody is getting fed. Whilst we could all give a fixed amount to the various charities, which of course means we can make changes, improve treatments and save more lives. Giving the gift of time, whether for ourselves to get checked or spend with a friend or family member living with cancer, or making a friends life a little easier whilst they receive treatment, is worth more than any donation.
Until next time, take care.